For every entrepreneur and business, finding a manufacturer is one of the most challenging aspects of getting your idea off the ground. Manufacturing products is a hurdle that nearly every entrepreneur faces, regardless of if their business is hardware or fashion focused.
For people looking to find a trustworthy manufacturer, they usually spend hours searching Alibaba and then conduct hours of due diligence on that manufacturer. One of the biggest problems that knock companies out is their inability to find the right manufacturer.
Sourcify, a new startup based in San Francisco, is creating a marketplace of the world's top manufacturers to enable entrepreneurs to source in an easy, reliable, and trustworthy way. Their marketplace curates pre-screened manufacturers that fit your needs so you don't have to spend hours searching through Alibaba. In addition, they also offer a customized concierge service that finds the right manufacturer for your needs, helps communicate your idea clearly to that manufacturer, and manages your project so it runs smoothly.
This company joins a new generation of startups focused around curating top talent and manufacturers. Similar to Gigster, a company that helps entrepreneurs work with top developers, Sourcify focuses on connecting entrepreneurs with quality manufacturers in their industry.
Companies like Sourcify focus on making the process of starting a company easier. As their co-founder Yaniv Menashervo says, "We are in an industry that is lacking innovation. People have been trying to find manufacturers using the same methods for ages. Sourcify is different, we pre-screen and conduct detailed due diligence on each manufacturer before we let them join our marketplace. If I were to source through Alibaba, I would be facing potential frauds as people can easily act as a fake manufacturer on their platform. By having a prescreened approach, we are making the process of finding a manufacturer secure while easing the process."
In my mind, there are three main reasons why this curation of top talent approach will change every industry.
It takes hundreds of hours for entrepreneurs and enterprises to find a manufacturer in the current landscape of the sourcing industry. First and foremost, entrepreneurs need to find reliable ways to find manufacturers. Most will turn to Alibaba, one of the largest networks of manufacturers in the world. On Alibaba, these people will get lost as their marketplace isn't intuitive to use and is filled with frauds.
A curation of top manufacturers enables people to focus on their product and not the actual process of sorting through thousands of manufacturers. Sourcify only takes the top 10 manufacturers in each industry and introduces them to people looking to find the right manufacturer.
Once you've found a manufacturer you think you want to work with, the next step is establishing trust. This is easier said than done, as most manufacturers aren't located locally. Flying across the world to visit a manufacturer is expensive and doesn't make sense for most companies. Though there are certain due diligence processes you can setup to build trust, it takes a lot of time and doesn't close up all the loose ends.
When Gigster on boards their development team, each and every one is required to sign a NDA to ensure trust across the platform. This way entrepreneurs can legally have a guarantee of non-disclosure. In addition, the platform has a very uptight screening process to only hire the world's top developers.
After finding a manufacturer and hopefully establishing some level of trust, you still face the unsecure environment of wire transfers, email, and much more. I've had friends whose manufacturers have apparently gotten their emails hacked, which resulted in the loss of valuable data and even the transfer of funds to the wrong account. Security is a huge issue when dealing with international transactions.
With companies now curating content, software developers, and now manufacturers, this model is on the path for disruption. This is the future of business, as entrepreneurs and enterprises are able to create value in an easy, reliable, and secure manner.